Several weeks of trying to get out with Splattski
finally we have a window. He did all the planning which included a 2 day 4 peak effort. Well that was the goal as the week got shorter the weather forecast got uglier. Splattski invited a couple celebrities (who both happen to be on SP), one of them just couldn’t due to commitments and other didn’t like the weather forecast (that is the guy we trash talked the most behind his back).
Saturday the 28th 6:00AM with a forecast predicting moisture at about 70% later in the day and Sunday. We head off to the Smoky Mountains in the Sawtooth National Forest and on the way stop in Hailey Idaho at the World Famous Hailey Coffee Shop that is apparently known for a breakfast burrito so big you need a 45 liter pack to take it with you on the trail should you elect to do so for your lunch (that was the plan for our lunch).
We hit the trailhead about 10:00AM and headed up to Baker Lake where we would climb the East Ridge of Backdrop Peak.
The sky was gray when we started and as we made it up about 400 ft. when bits of blue sky started showing it's face. I was looking forward to some class 3 climbing on this ridge and it was just glorious. About 10 minutes into it a 50 lb flattish plate rock jumped up and bit my shin. You know it hurt for like a second and then it goes away but then …. The blood started to flow and I shouted to Splattski hey, need to fix this. He waited for me on a somewhat flat spot and fixed me up real good. By this time my boot was pretty much filled with blood (looked much worse than it was).
So we move around this spire to the southwest and summit comes into our sight. I had been going, well not slow but not lighting fast as Splattski
is used to so, I decided to show him everything was going to be fine as I sprinted past him with a whoosh.
Saddle between Backdrop and Baker Peak
He later claims in his trip report that it was shades of Edward Whymper
. After lunch of, you know the 30 lb burrito in the back pack, we then headed down this very cool ridge that connected to a saddle of our next peak, Baker Peak.
Splattski Backdrop and Baker Trip Report
Once we gained the saddle we started to climb up about another 700 feet to the summit. One minute into this the shin started to bleed again through the athletic tape and gauze Splattski
installed. So I shouted to him, hey, I sprung a leak. He knew exactly what I was talking about and by the time I got to him he had a plan.
He took off one of his short trail gaiters, flipped it upside down and wrapped it around my shin and bam, it worked wonderfully. So we finished heading up to the summit of Baker Peak. I thought we had accidently made it to the Moon. The talus formed many different little mounds, strange looking.
We descended north east toward the trailhead along a bench that followed a creek bed until we arrived back to the car. We now have a about a 2-3 hour drive to where we wanted to camp for the night. We agreed in the planning of this mission that we would “car camp and live like kings”. Our target was Josephus Lake campground and the trailhead to Mt Mills in the Salmon River Mountains located in the boundaries of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.
Blue Bunch Trail, Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
We arrived to find just one camp spot available, a good spot and the last one. Splattski
says I will put up the tent and you go tend to your leg. So off to the lake I go and clean up the war wound.
Part of our trip planning determined that I would use my “Chef” skills and do the hot meal preparing. So dinner was to be Salmon Pesto Linguini. We killed a bottle of Cabernet and were working on another 20 ounces of Snake River Red when the storm that was predicted turned on its switch. We dove in to the tent and left all of the cookware and dishes underneath the tarp that Splattski set up next to the tent. The rain and thunder and lightning went all night long.
Woke up somewhat late about 7AM and the rain started to cease. So our plan was to go get the very next peak on our list- Mt Mills
. After we cooked up a tasty omelet, got everything and packed it up in the car and headed for the Summit of Mt. Mills.
[img:547613:alignleft:small:Blue Bunch Trail, Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness]We started on the Blue Bunch Trail that headed towards Helldiver Lake. We hit the junction to Helldiver and proceeded east towards the saddle of Mt Mills. We ran across several backpackers and campers along the way. Things were very damp from the 10 hours of rain, Splattski thought about 1 inch. Once we gained the saddle that left us about 400 more feet of elevation to get on top of. I was moving slow from the lack of sleep and activity for the last 3-4 weeks. Splattski
says we need to move quickly as there are dark grumbling clouds heading our way. So I hit the afterburners and sputtered up to the summit.
The weather was not going to allow us to finish off our 4th peak however what a great trip this turned out to be and spending Sunday, in the Church with Brother John (Splattski)
Splattski Mt Mills Trip Report
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